He is Good (And You Are Loved)

A few years ago my family and I moved to a new town. We craved the community of a local church body we could call home. A friend told us about a small “strange” church she’d recently tried and invited us to join her. We looked it up online, found little information and decided to try it anyway.

The first few weeks came and went with little fanfare. Our youngest was terrified of any sort of childcare program and we were little more than “careful observers.”

About a month in, a man named Vinny preached. His sermon was about the love of The Father. He shared pictures of the boys he’d be going to Ukraine to adopt and his eyes shined as he anticipated their “gotcha” day. He went on to explain how our Heavenly Father had adopted us, and what this meant. I don’t remember it being a fancy sermon with a lot of hermeneutical breakdown, but I do remember the presence of God being palpable. I do recall people weeping aloud before the altar call ever hit.

Eventually, he said words I don’t remember which ended in an invitation to come forward for prayer. I accepted this invitation. Because God’s love had felt far away, mythical even for a while now. Somewhere along the way this lie had been planted in my heart that I’d become sick and then remained sick because God was angry with me. Somehow, my circumstance had become irrefutable evidence of God’s negative feelings towards me and my soul desperately longed to remember something else. Oh yes, my mouth was still saying all the, “Jesus loves me this I know yada yada” party line stuff. But deep down my heart believed I’d surely failed him somewhere I couldn’t see and as a result, I had been cast aside, no longer loved.

I didn’t know this man who laid his hands on me to pray that day, but as he did I laid my head on his shoulder and began to weep out the pain of believing a thousand lies. It was profoundly embarrassing and wildly freeing. The woman who went back to her seat was snot-faced and changed. She saw everything through the lens of God’s love again.

Vinny is now the Pastor of his own church. His family and ours have become dear friends. Last night, our families attended service together. And as we were worshipping, singing, “You are good, good, good. You are good, good, good. Oh, You are good, good, good. You’re never gonna let me down.” The Lord asked, “Can we write this on your heart again, that I’m good?”

You see, this year has been hard. And I admit to you that while my mouth has continued to say the words, “God is good yada yada.” My heart has choked on them a bit. They haven’t always felt true. I have allowed my circumstances to tell me something other than the truth. My circumstances have said God is sometimes good.

So as we sang, I said,

“ You were good when the insurance company denied my treatment.”

“ You were good on the day I was too sick to get out of bed.”

“You were good when those people made me feel rejected, not good enough.”

“You were good when the pain seemed unbearable.”

On and on, because I needed to speak truth to myself. I needed to remind myself my circumstances do not define God’s love for me or his goodness.

And I am wondering today, if there is something you might need to say?

If you might need to remind yourself:

“You loved me when…”

“You were good when…”

Because you see, our circumstances may be all over the map, but our God is never changing. His love for us, his goodness, they’re never changing.

What do you need to remind yourself today? What is he asking to write on your heart once again?



How to Let the Master Quilter Do His Work

As I child, I loved to run my fingers along the stitching of my grandmother’s quilts. They were a labor of love for her. Each time my mother reported an impending visit from the stork, my grandmother would smile and say, “I’ll get started on the quilt.” She’d stitch and pray, petitioning heaven with her hope that each of my siblings would “love the Lord all their days.” In this way, quilts and Jesus have always been deeply interconnected for me, almost like the patterns on the quilts themselves.

Not long ago, I took a seemingly straightforward trip. The goal was to support someone important at a crucial time, but the outcome was a mess of conflict and confusion in my heart and mind. I thought I was ready to revisit this space attached to old wounds and questions from my past, but instead the experience was as though someone ripped off a dirty old bandage, uncovering an oozing infection beneath. I felt woozy, unsteady from this discovery. I’ll be honest: my first instinct wasn’t to clean out the wound; it was to slap the bandage back on the wound and pretend I never saw it.

Continue reading at http://theglorioustable.com/2016/07/how-to-let-the-master-quilter-do-his-work/

But, We’re All Sinless! (in our own eyes)

After much discussion, a perusal of the packed Chili’s parking lot and our stash of coupons, my family and I landed on Ruby Tuesday’s as our choice for dinner last night. It was a reluctant decision, largely motivated by our coupons and the lack of wait time.

My youngest, Avery, had been running on full-throttle insanity all day. My tolerance of her yanking things from my hands, baby talk whimpering, full-speed jumping onto my body and other antics was running thin. As I buckled her into her car seat, anxious to be back home, she took advantage of the moment and used it as an opportunity to enact her four-year-old mutiny. While I was bent over, approximately six inches from her face, she thrust her “squishy” Olaf toy directly into my eyeball. Unpleasant. I would describe it as unpleasant. My eye would not stop watering, burning, or closing. Avery laughed.

“Avery, what are we supposed to say when we hurt someone?”


“Right. So what do you need to say to me?”

“Sorry, I did whatever I did wrong, I can’t remember right now.

“You shoved your Olaf toy in my eyeball.”

“Oh Yeah. Sorry, I shoved my Olaf toy in your eyeball?”

“I forgive you. But please don’t do that again. It really hurt.”

Later that night, Avery asked me if I had been joking about that whole “toy in the eyeball really hurting thing.” Surely, I was just pulling her leg, right?

If there’s one thing we humans don’t like it’s having our mistakes or sin pointed out. Oh, that? That’s not sin. It’s just a thing I do that’s between me and God and I’d prefer no one else knew about. Oh, that? I decided for me it’s not a sin.

But how can we know redemption and grace without knowing we’ve sinned? How can we know the one who ransoms from sin without an awareness of our sins? How can I teach my daughter what’s right without teaching her what’s wrong? How can we take in the beauty and wonder of the cross, a sacrifice for us, if we don’t believe we need one?

And in a world where stepping on other’s toes is frowned upon, how can we really know what’s sin and what isn’t?


  • Ask the Lord in prayer. We can ask him to search and examine our hearts. Like David in the Psalms, we invite him to “see if there be any wicked way in us.” We are so protective of our sin. We like to assume it’s not actually sin. Knowing the greatest consequence of our sin is it separates us from God, breaks his very heart, wouldn’t we rather be safe than sorry? Let’s ask him, regularly. In his book, The Utter Relief of Holiness, author John Eldredge asks if we aren’t repenting of something regularly, how can we claim to be serious about holiness? It’s a good question.


  • Read God’s word. It’s “sharper than any two-edged sword.” As we read, let’s ask the Lord to show us truth where we’ve believed lies. Let’s ask him to expose hidden sin within our hearts and then to set us free. We serve a God who reveals that he might heal.


  • Be Accountable. As we surround ourselves with other strong believers equipped with the freedom to speak truth into our lives, we minimize the risk of secretly nurturing sin our whole lives long. As we sit beneath hearty, biblical teaching aimed not at stroking our egos but at shaping us into a spotless bride, we make room for the Holy Spirit to do his holy work of convicting.


Avery needs to know it’s not acceptable to shove her toy in my eyeball. Yes, so she might find mercy, grace, redemption, and forgiveness, but also so she can stop shoving toys in my eyeball. I need to know where there is sin my life. Yes, so I might find mercy, grace, redemption, and forgiveness. But, also so I can stop breaking things. Eyeballs and people are fragile. I don’t want to break either. I don’t want to break the heart of God. I don’t want to damage the relationships in my life. Sin destroys me in the same way shoving sharp objects in my eye destroys my body. I don’t want to do either. And, I’m thankful to serve a God who loves me enough to tell me what’s wrong so I can stop doing it. Even if it hurts my pride a little.


I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be the kid asking God, “You were just joking about that sin hurting you thing, right?”

Prizes, Please

Tomorrow will mark day six of the plague flu in our home. I’ve never been a big fan of the post-apocalyptic shows like The Walking Dead, but I’ve read plenty of similarly themed books. From what I can tell, we’re doomed. This is the part where the folks who have yet to be contaminated cut us off from the rest of society and we are forced to forge our own path in a new contaminated, colony of our own. My husband, Ryan is clearly the hero in our version and I am the dead weight that he carries around (read as- goes to pick up take out food for on a regular basis). But the crux of our story is my four-year-old daughter, Avery’s journey as she’s been hit hardest by the merciless funk.

It’s been enlightening for me, my delight in offering her the slightest comfort. Meeting her in her pain, validating her hurt, meeting her needs, again and again, these moments aren’t the burden I always assume they are when it’s me who needs them. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for her. When she cries that her stomach hurts or she’s cold, I’m not angry that she needs again. I’m desperate to meet her need and bring her suffering to an end.

Yesterday, she stood next to the bed and cried that her stomach hurt.

I said, “Perhaps you should try to go the restroom.”

She shook her head no.

“Maybe you should lay down and rest for a bit.”

Still no.

I said I could give her some medicine for her stomach.

She began sobbing.

“Baby, what’s wrong.”

“I’m just wondering if you have any other ideas because I don’t like those.”

I did not. But as I was pondering, digging into the far recesses of my mind, she offered up this idea.

“I’m just wondering if maybe we should go to Target and get me a prize? I’m wondering if maybe you think that’s a good idea?”

And I couldn’t help but laugh because it was just so me.

That after the Lord would whisper his instructions, I would shrug them away and offer up, “What about this? How about instead of all of those things that make sense but don’t sound like fun, we ignore the fact that I’m contaminated, still in my pajamas and rocking record-setting bed head while running a fever over a hundred and we head on over to Target and pick me up a lil’ something fun. How about that plan, God? I really think that one’s a winner.”

These are the times that I am so thankful that I am not God. My mind, my ability to fix, to heal, to restore, to comfort, to know what to do next are so limited.

But his is not. He knows exactly what I need. Exactly when I need it.

I wonder what would happen if I shrugged his instructions, his whispers, his ideas off less. What if I stopped deeming them not fun, not possible, not for me? What if I just trusted that He was a loving Father who delighted in meeting my needs and bringing an end to my suffering? Would my stomach stop hurting? Would I eventually end up with a prize from Target, too?

If today, you find yourself struggling to accept God’s instructions and wanting to offer him some more appealing suggestions can I encourage you to let him take care of you? It isn’t a burden to him. He doesn’t grow tired of meeting your needs. He delights in being your source of comfort and unlike me, he doesn’t run out of ideas. You can trust him. He’ll never kick you out of the colony, even if you get the flu.


Serving Through Suffering… With the Joy of King David

O Lord, You alone are my hope.

Ive trusted You, O LORD, from childhood.

Yes, You have been with me from birth;

from my mothers womb You have cared for me.

No wonder I am always praising You!

My life is an example to many,

because you have been my strength and protection.

That is why I can never stop praising You;

I declare Your glory all day long.

And now, in my old age, dont set me aside.

Dont abandon me when my strength is failing.” Psalm 71:5-9

I would love to be able to say this now, let alone in my later years when my health is failing. This is part of Psalm 71, written when David was elderly and very ill. It still shows his strength of purpose and character, as if he was still the young David, ready to take on the world. If you read the full Psalm, as his health fails, his competition is keen on killing him to take hold of power. Despite the challenges of pain and an aged body, he is determined to remain the victor, sitting securely within God’s will.

“Now that I am old and grey,

do not abandon me, O God.

Let me proclaim Your power to this new generation,

Your mighty miracles to all who come after me.

Your righteousness, O God, reaches to the highest heavens.

You have done such wonderful things.

Who can compare with You, O God?

You have allowed me to suffer much hardship,

but You will restore me to life again

and lift me up from the depths of the earth.

You will restore me to even greater honour

and comfort me once again.” Verses 18-21

One of the most inspiring talks I have heard on David was by an elderly Rabbi, who was encouraging his congregation to “serve with the joy of King David!” He spoke about moving through our spiritual lives with love and a smile on our face; as well as the gratitude which manifested in David’s Psalms. The point to his message was that those in the world with no faith would see that joy, and it would become a witness.

Every so often I think about what he said, and I can see the promise in it. Being able to praise God through hardship, blesses God, helps empower us to move forward and also, shows others the goodness of God in our lives. If we had nothing at all to be happy about, we would not praise. Onlookers can see that.

David had a great deal to be grateful for, and he let nothing stop him from sharing it.

“As for me, I will always have hope;

I will praise You more and more.

My mouth will tell of Your righteous deeds,

of Your saving acts all day long—

though I know not, how to relate them all.” Psalm 71:14-15 (NIV)

You know how it feels to be ill. Your energy is drained, you don’t want to move. How David survived so many foes, battles and long-term health problems, is an incredible testimony of the provision of the Lord. He did not **die until the nation of Israel was secure. From the symptoms described in the books of Samuel and the Psalms, it appears that David suffered from diabetes from mid-life; then he most probably passed away from diabetic heart disease. Both explain the extreme cold he suffered in his last few years, [Ref. 1 Kings 1] and the ups and downs in his health, that the Bible records.

David had the help of a local plant named sharp varthemia (chiliadenus iphionoides) to control his diabetes, but I cannot begin to image living through those conditions with not so much as a paracetamol tablet, let alone insulin and cardiac medication. In addition, as someone who had been a warrior for many years, he would have suffered chronic pain and possibly, some debilitation, from orthopaedic problems caused by the extreme wear and tear of warfare on his body.

The aged David must have been very uncomfortable, yet, he didn’t slow down much. Even when King Solomon had taken the throne, David invested his time in his great passion: preparations for building the temple. Reading through 1 Chronicles, they were extensive and David gave his personal wealth to help fund the building, inspiring others to give as well. [Ref. 1 Chronicles chapters 27 to 29]

Then David praised the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly:

“O LORD, the God of our ancestor Israel, may You be praised forever and ever! Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is Yours, O LORD, and this is Your kingdom. We adore You as the One who is over all things. Wealth and honour come from You alone, for You rule over everything. Power and might are in Your Hand, and at Your discretion, people are made great and given strength.” 1 Chronicles 29:10-12

The suffering that David went through only served to build his gratitude and enhance his relationship with the Lord, which is something that I find amazing. At times, people who have had hard lives become bitter, both with others and with God, but not David. He was able to look back and see the wonder of how the Lord had brought him through.

Psalm 119:71-71 is believed to be David’s work. In it he says:

My suffering was good for me,

for it taught me to pay attention to Your decrees.

Your instructions are more valuable to me

than millions in gold and silver.”

Bless the Lord for the work and legacy of his faithful servant, David, the sweet singer of Isra’el. He is a great example of how to meet hardship head on, and still come out rich and fulfilled, no matter what age you are, or what conditions you suffer from. As I know David would say if he were to be writing this, put your trust and hope in the Lord. He will never abandon those who are faithful to Him. Look to Him for help, you’ll never be unloved, unprovided for or forsaken.


**“He (David) reigned over Israel for forty years, seven of them in Hebron and thirty-three in Jerusalem. He died at a ripe old age, having enjoyed long life, wealth, and honour. Then his son Solomon ruled in his place.” 1 Chronicles 29:27-28 Long life, or being full of years, is a sign of the favour of the Lord. Other Biblical heroes who enjoyed the same favour, in those terms, are Abraham, Isaac and Job.

Read more about King David and diabetes: http://articles.faithwriters.com/reprint-article-details.php?article=32037


Except where marked, all verses are from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.


This article by Cate Russell-Cole is under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)


About Cate and the King David Project

Cate Russell-Cole has been a Christian since 1981 and is a qualified Creativity Coach, Author, Editor and Social Worker. She has been actively involved in church life and ministry, since her teenage years. Until early in 2015, Cate coached writers online through her CommuniCATE Resources for Writers blog, with a blog and social media following of over seven thousand people. Her commercial work had to be stopped due to chronic health problems, so instead, she followed her heart and devoted all her time to King David.

Cate lives in Brisbane, Australia with her husband and two cats and habitually writes everything in Australian English.

“From Despair to Deliverance: the King David Project,” is a non-profit ministry, that seeks to make the life of King David easy to understand and relevant, so that believers gain inspiration and comfort from the life of King David.

The King David Project website: http://cateartios.wix.com/kingdavidproject

Masada Rain Blog: https://masadarain.wordpress.com

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/fromdespairtodeliverance

Twitter: @Masada_Rain

Pinterest Boards (including free images for bloggers): https://www.pinterest.com/MasadaRain/




Come Close

I sat in the flimsy black chair, exchanging pleasantries with the young doctor at my follow-up appointment. We’d go over my test results; he’d say they were fine—- my new symptoms surely the result of Lyme and then he’d tell me what to do about them. After all, that was why I’d come, for relief from the sudden, new joint pain that was crippling at times, causing my fingers to swell and preventing me from typing or texting, sometimes even bringing tears to my eyes.
But instead, he opened his mouth and formed different words. Words I hadn’t been expecting, the weight of which crushed my soul. In addition to all the other fun I’d been enjoying, the markers for Rheumatoid Arthritis had come back positive. I’d be sent to a Rheumatologist to confirm, but it seemed quite clear to him.
I drove home in a stupor, working up a good cry. What I wanted most at that moment, more than I wanted to unhear those words was for my husband to come close. I wanted him to tell me that we were still going to be okay. I needed him to say that one more diagnosis didn’t change the commitments we’d made or God’s goodness.
He was on a conference call when I came home. (As he often is) I did my best to hold my cry in. But the second his finger touched the “end call” button, tears streamed my face, and I said, “Can you come over? I need a hug.” The rest was a blur of blubber and snot. But I heard the words I needed to hear. “We’re still okay.”
This morning, I stood in the shower, and I whispered to Jesus, “Come close.” I’ve been drowning in a sea of symptoms and struggles, and I’ve just needed to feel the Lord near. I thought about the wonder of the cross. What a bold, demonstrative move of “coming close.” Is there any doubt that he longs to be close to us?
It’s the goal of every marriage, the coming close. It’s why we commit our lives to one another so that we can live all of our days up close to one another. And maybe somewhere along the way, hurts and disappointments come in and crowd out this goal of coming close, but it is the starting place.
And so it is with our walk with Jesus.
The desire on both sides is the coming close to one another. How many times have I heard the still small voice of my Savior inviting me, “Come close“? And maybe somewhere along the way, hurts or disappoints come in and crowd this desire out and we no longer want to come close.
But today, he’s still whispering to you, to me, “Come close.”
What if we laid our hurts, our disappointments, and our busyness down and we let him embrace us? Maybe the rest will be a blur of blubber and snot. I don’t know. But what I do know, is that we will hear the words our hearts long to hear. “We’re still okay.”

Superficial Success

I went on a trip recently where I couldn’t help but overhear much networking, business card exchanging, sales figure dropping and general success celebrating.

I’m pretty sure I could even smell it on the plane, the scent of perceived success. The bigger the sales territory the more of this cologne they wore. Did they win awards for their numbers? Pile on some more of that perfume. Buy a bigger house or better car because of those commission checks? Better add a couple of extra squirts for good measure.

My life looks much different than these people. I don’t spend my days traveling for work, trying to close the deal and feeling like “the man” when I do. Is this it? Is this what success looks like? Are there levels of success?

I have to be honest that there was a time in my life that I would have been right there with those folks. When closing investment deals and climbing corporate ladders absolutely would have signified success to me.

But something’s changed…

The closer I get to Jesus, the less and less my definition of success has anything to do with stuff, titles or positions and the more and more it has to do with a posture before the cross.

When I begin to evaluate success now, I think about things like: How well am I loving people? Am I stewarding myself and my resources well? Am I growing in Christ?

We are such a results-oriented society. We want them and we want them now. Measurable and favorable, malleable. But what if being successful means learning to leave the results up to God? What if success means trusting God more than you ever have before?

Maybe, like me, when one year ends and another begins, you reflect back on it. Was it a success? What do I want to improve upon in this next year? Each year I find that my definition becomes more and more simple. This year it looks like this: Was I obedient? Did I grow closer to God in the process? If so, it was a success.

What does success look like to you?

Fluffy Faith

Two years ago at Christmas time our family adopted a Persian cat that our big kids named, “Tater Tot.” She enjoys giving us gifts. To obtain these gifts, she must go out into the backyard and kill them. Then she proudly drags them to the back porch and leaves them on display. I’ll spare you the details on the various gifts we’ve found on the back porch but let’s just say she really enjoys her hunting time outside. But her fur does not. It gets matted and tangled and recently we had to have her taken to the groomer for a little trim. It’s funny, Tater Tot has always looked so big to me. In fact, I’ve often given her a hard time about being such a big, fat cat. But because her fur was so matted from her time hunting, the groomer had to give her “the lion” cut, shaving off almost all of her fur excluding head and paws. Besides being just plain hilarious, I’ve noticed something else. Once you removed all the fluff, Tater Tot looks so small, frail even.

It might seem strange to you that the sight of my recently shaved cat, stretched out on my couch, reminded me of faith. But it did, at least of some people’s anyway. Because once you get rid of all that fluff that makes it look so large, it’s really very small and even frail.

There have been a couple of times that people have told me that their faith, their believing, feels small. One is when they’ve had the wind knocked right out of them by some circumstance in life, such as the loss of a loved one, an illness, a financial hardship, infidelity, etc.

The other is when the person’s faith has been chronically malnourished. It usually sounds something like this, “I’m just not sure what I even believe anymore.” Or “I’m not sure I even believe that stuff anymore.”

“Okay, what have you been doing to build your faith up, to feed it?” Blank stare ensues.

We’ve all been told that what feed will grow and what we starve will die.

We are all guilty of this at times. Feeding the wrong things, while starving our faith. But today I want to ask you a tough question. Beneath all the fluff, what does your faith really look like? What are you doing to feed it? Is your faith feeling weak because it is chronically malnourished?

Sometimes when our faith feels weak we ask our friends to pray for us and that’s great. But I hope your friends will also tell you, “Joker, you need to eat.” And maybe even load you up in the car and take you to that faith hospital called church. Because I would hope that if your friend saw you starving to death they’d do more than pray for you. I would hope that they would feed you and get you some medical care.

How is your faith feeling today? Fluffy? Starved? When was the last time you fed it?

After all, what you starve will die and what you feed will grow.


Santa Jesus

Dear Santa Jesus,

I think you will find that I have been a very good girl this year. Check out my church attendance. Spot on. I have even opened my bible a few times in between services. That has to be good for some extra credit points, right? I haven’t cussed much (mostly just in my head, and we all know that doesn’t count). I don’t drink, and I don’t dress like a street walker like those other girls, bless their hearts. I sometimes even put extra money in the offering. I talk at you and ask you to help the people I like, so I know for a fact that we’re in awesome shape, and I’m pretty much the best Christian of them all.

In return, I’m just asking for a few things- because, you know, that’s the deal. I’d really like a better job that pays more money that I can spend on myself. I mean, I work hard, and I feel like I deserve it. That’s the other thing. I’m tired of working so hard. I’d really like a break. So it would be super cool if this new job could pay more but I could work less. Thanks. Also, the people I work with now are a real bummer. I’m just so tired of hearing about all of their problems that I can’t do anything about. So, if my new job could be full of only awesome Christians like me that would be so much better. I need a new car. This one is almost two years old now, and I’m starting to feel embarrassed driving it, and I know that you died on the cross so that I’d always feel happy.

I’m still waiting on that perfect husband and family you promised me so that I can feel complete. I mean, I have a husband and kids, but these aren’t the perfect ones I was waiting on. So could you fix them? I’m so tired of waiting for them to get their act together.

One more thing, those homeless people who keep camping out at the front of our subdivision and begging for food are bringing down the property values, and I know you understand all about why property values matter so much. Handle it? You’re the best, Santa Jesus!


The American Christian

I fear this is what it has become. That somewhere along the way we confused Jesus, God who became man and died on a cross to ransom us because he couldn’t stand to let our sin separate us from him a moment longer and who set an example of love giving even unto death, with a fat guy in a red suit who rewards your good behavior by giving you whatever you want.

God’s ways are higher than ours. We don’t always understand them. Romans 8:28 tells us, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” All things. He works all things, even the things that don’t feel good or like what we want, for our good.

When did we stop letting him be God? When did we stop trusting and start commanding? Is he God or isn’t he? Do we believe or don’t we? Are we in is this for what we can get out of it? Or, like the early church, have we fallen so passionately in love with Jesus that we would rather be burned at the stake than forsake his great name? When did stuff become so important? When did we stop seeking him purely for the joy of finding him?

I so often find myself trying to fill in the blanks, to write the ending for God. Oh, he must be doing this or that. Because the waiting, the not knowing the ending, the trusting, I will be the first to admit that at times IT’S STILL HARD.

But he’s not Santa. He’s Jesus. Who died on the cross because he loved me, and I will go where he calls because I love him and I trust him.

What if today we stopped talking at him and simply said, “You are good and I trust you”? What if we stopped expecting to be rewarded for good behavior like a potty training toddler waiting for her prize and we just did what’s right because it’s right and we realized that holiness is its own prize?

What if today we put Santa Jesus on notice? Santa Jesus, you’re fired. We want the real deal. The passionate love affair with a Jesus already so in love with us that he came and died on the cross.

It’s not too late for the real thing, the real Jesus. A real living, breathing walk with him instead of a good behavior-based star chart religion.

It’s not too late…